When you first go into business for yourself and brave the waters of social media, what are you thinking about?
I know what I was thinking. Clients.
It’s a mistake that we all make. We’re enthusiastic. And we’re eager to turn our hard work into something tangible: green dollars.
Regardless of our initial goals, what we don’t want to see is our business fail, right?
So perhaps we enter social media with too much naiveté and enthusiasm. We make mistakes. A few trolls get upset with us.
Oh, well. We all must travel a learning curve.Don't over-promote any of your content Click To Tweet
Travel the Social Media Learning Curve
The problem is that when we first start out, the way we think about social media is broken. In the beginning, we concern ourselves with two goals: sales and numbers.
We want plenty of new clients, and we want high numbers in terms of followers. We want thousands if not millions of Twitter followers, and thousands of Facebook likes. And because we’re new to this work of marketing, it all seems possible, until …
Until a few weeks or a few months pass and we realize that something isn’t working. Our calendar is empty and ratcheting up followers isn’t easy when done correctly.
This is a great moment in our development. Why? Because this is the time when we can start to learn a better way, a truer way, a way that will bring friends and colleagues into our world.
Notice that I didn’t use the word sales. Why? Because if we use social media correctly, the way it was meant to be used, the sales will happen. But first, we must network. We must make friends with our prospective clients and competitors.
Spend Time Listening Online
When you first join a new social media network, it’s always a good idea to listen before you jump in with your tweets and status updates. Follow these steps:
- Lurk nicely. Check out how people write their tweets and status updates. Find your influencers.
- Retweet information that your followers will enjoy.
- Then get your game on. Write blog posts, and tweet and post them.
- Create images using Canva or PicMonkey, free applications you can use to add text to copyright-free images you find on the web or those you take yourself.
- Find meaningful quotes to share, and create text-based images using your finest lines of writing from your blog posts. Also, share humorous.
- Don’t over-promote any of your content. Instead, follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of the time promote other users; 20% of the time post about your blog posts, website, and other offerings you might have.
- Never say, “Buy my services,” figuratively or otherwise.
Engage Online and Always Be Authentic
The beauty of social media is that it’s social. So allow plenty of time—say 15 minutes a day—to have fun and socialize virtually online.Always be authentic online Click To Tweet
Follow these suggestions:
- Listen to what others say more often than you post.
- Reply to your followers’ social media posts—and those of influencers in your niche —and share their content.
- Win hearts by being authentic, gracious, and thankful.
- Be cool. In other words, never write a nasty comment, use profanity, ridicule someone, or denigrate another author or business.
- Minimize self-promotion.
- Be open to learning from others.
- Thank others for their shares, pins, and retweets.
Through social media, you’ll have opportunities to meet people from around the world, influencers within your niche, business coaches, and new friends. You can’t possibly imagine now what social media can do for your career. These experiences will occur as you meet and engage with prospective clients and discover new friends. Enjoy yourself and don’t worry about the numbers game.
Frances Caballo is a social media strategist and manager and the author of six books on social media. Click here to schedule an appointment with her.
Interested in marketing a book you wrote? Visit Frances at SocialMediaJustforWriters.com.